It is said if you look long enough you will find what you are looking for—or it will find you. So, after a couple of months of not feeling inspired or excited to write much, I finally stumbled upon an idea that just won’t let go. Of course, that idea will take a while to completely unfold, but ever since I first heard it I felt captured and inspired by a new way of looking at things—a new way of looking at life. That idea is an optimistic protopia. What is protopia? It is the middle way between a dystopia or a utopia. It asks, will our futures look like a dystopian disaster where the planet and humans are fighting tooth and nail to survive? (Think of the movies Terminator or Mad Max.) Or will it look like a utopian dream where everything is perfect, all people are “perfect”, and nothing ever changes? Until recently no one really talked about a third alternative. A middle way. And that future is protopian. I’m guessing most people never even heard of it just like me. [Read more…]
Celebrating A Birthday, A Short Quiz, And A Free Gift For You!
When I started this blog seven years ago I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to begin writing about topics that mattered to me. Of course, I hoped others would find them interesting and helpful, but one never knows for sure. The idea of rightsizing had never even occurred to me at the time, and neither did I have that much interest in positive aging. Fast forward seven years and I still find myself drawn to ideas that are encouraging, intriguing and uplifting to both myself and others. But along the way my interests have deepened and broadened in ways I never imagined. So if on this seven-year anniversary (or birthday) of my blog you will humor me a bit, I want to look back over the years to recap a few highlights. Your reward for indulging me is a short quiz asking what YOU like, and a free gift. [Read more…]
Why I Don’t Think I’m Old And Don’t Think You Should Think It Either
I arrived on this planet 61 years ago, and I don’t think I’m old. Sure, I’ve been around a while and have certainly aged. But again, I don’t think that necessarily makes me old. Then this last week a friend and fellow blogger wrote an article saying that it was “ageist” to deny that we aren’t old past a certain age. While my friend didn’t mention when that exact number occurs, just knowing she is only a year or two older than me, made me guess that she believes I’m in the same boat. But the thing is, I don’t think she is old either, regardless of her age.
Of course, I do agree with her that rampant age discrimination exists in our country. It’s been around for as long as I can remember and I’m guilty of it too. I distinctly recall thinking my parents were old when I introduced Thom to them back in the late 1970s. At the time, they were in their early 40’s, and I am now two decades older than them at that introduction. Your perspective clearly changes as you age and until you reach certain milestones yourself, it is tough to relate. [Read more…]
10 Lies We Tell Ourselves That Keep Us From Living Happy And SMART
I do my best here on SMART Living to stay away from politics. That’s not because I don’t have an opinion, but my intention here is to instead inspire and encourage us all to think and form our own opinions from a space of awareness, compassion and personal responsibility. With that said, it occurred to me that much of the divisiveness we see and hear these days originates in some fundamental lies that we may be telling ourselves. Those lies or untruths are quite common and perhaps by taking the time to shine some light on them, we just might find that we have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the line. Here then, are ten falsehoods some people tell themselves that keep them from being happy and SMART. [Read more…]
Quiz: Things We Didn’t Know When We Were Young
Can you remember back to a time when you thought you knew everything there was to know about life and love? Thom and I were talking the other day about how dramatically that has changed for us. As Thom likes to say, “The older I get, the less I know, but the more I understand.” Do you feel the same? With that in mind, Thom and I came up with 60 things we think we now understand that we didn’t even know we didn’t know when we were young. If you are over 40, take this test to see if you agree. If you are younger than 40, then here are some things we think you have to look forward to understanding on a deeper level as you age.
The Benefits Of Pessimism and the Prevention-Focused Among Us
I’ve been an optimist since the day I was born. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you probably think I’m either incredibly fortunate or unbelievably naïve depending upon your perspective. Yet after reading a new book, I not only understand a great deal more about what motivates me and why, I’ve also developed a much higher appreciation for those more pessimistic than me. In fact, sometimes the best approach for any of us is to ramp up our prevention-focus and practice a bit of defensive-pessimism depending upon the circumstances. That’s right, I now know that even a diehard optimist like me can benefit from being a little pessimistic. [Read more…]
17 Ways To Deal With The Blahs
My dog Kloe is normally one of the happiest and perkiest dogs alive. Most of the time if just mention the “w” word (as in walk) she starts spinning and doing her happy dance. I’m sort of the same way. Most days I wake up and am convinced that something wonderful is about to happen and I am incredibly fortunate just to be alive. But to be honest, there are days for both Kloe and I when one or the other of us wakes in a funk. We aren’t feeling necessarily bad, just blah. What I’ve gradually learned is that the blahs aren’t usually something to fear, fix or fight. Instead, the SMART thing to do is remember we always have more options than we know and sometimes relaxing into the moment is the best antidote. [Read more…]
SMART Living Features Best of Boomer Blogs
This week for the first time SMART Living 365 is hosting The Best of Boomer Blogs #379. My links have been featured on each of the blogs listed below during the last month and I’m happy (and grateful) to now share these writers and their blogs with you. While I realize not all of you are boomers, some of these links should be of interest and help you no matter what your age. This type of link sharing is called a “blog carnival” and features an interesting selection of news, feature articles, and personal blogs. So jump on the merry-go-round, join the conversation and leave your thoughts, questions, and comments below! [Read more…]
How Do You Live If Heaven Is Real?
As some of you know, I wrote a blog post last summer after hearing a author named Dr. Eben Alexander speak at a conference. His book, Proof of Heaven raised a number of questions in my mind that I wanted to explore. That post attracted more readers than any other I have written in the last three years so I know lots of people are interested in the topic. Then last weekend Thom and I went to the new movie, Heaven Is For Real to discover if it offered any further proof of the concept. But instead of answers, it raised even more questions about the idea of heaven that I think each of us could benefit from answering for ourselves. And the biggest question of all is, “How would your life be different if you really believed Heaven were real?” [Read more…]
Five Myths Of A Thankful Life
Last week my post talked about three challenges that I think stand in the way of many of us living gratefully each and every day. What occurred to me from some of the comments and other conversations I’ve had during the week is that there are a number of people who aren’t convinced that we should live either gratefully or happy every single day anyway. What’s interesting to me after all the research I’ve done over the years about creating happiness, is how closely the reasoning to avoid gratitude on a daily basis appears the same. That led me to explore some of the more common myths that exist for happiness—and observe at how those same myths apply to living thankfully 365. [Read more…]